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Which piece do you think is better for competition?
#1801369 12/06/11 12:47 PM
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My son's current repertoire list is

1. Mozart Sonata K330 3rd mov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kDslwThgZ8

2. Debussy Arabesque No 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71_nHntI5FE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HViRMDR6vFw

3. Schubert Impromptu Op 90 No 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX6vPf1dIOY

Which one is the better choice? My son could pick any one he wants and probably will pick Debussy, but I heard it's better to play a fast piece, is this true? This local competition (12 and younger) is still several months away so he still has plenty of time to work on it. Thanks!

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Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801394 12/06/11 01:20 PM
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What kind of competition?

At present I think the Mozart of the Schubert show off his impressive technical abilities better than the Debussy. He may need to grow into the impressionist repertoire.

You might want to invest in a good tripod for your recordings. A steady camera adds a lot to the quality of a video.

edit: The views of a parent not a teacher, but one whose son played in many competitions

Last edited by Piano*Dad; 12/06/11 01:22 PM.
Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801419 12/06/11 01:48 PM
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It's just a local competition (for 12 and under) by a local orchestra. One group is piano and violin and all other instruments are in the other group. It's near where we live and with just a small application fee. It will be hard to compete with older kids but I wish it will be a fun experience.

I also feel Schubert probably is better (Mozart is still too hard), I will see if my son wants to play this one. Thanks!

I do have a tripod but it's not easy to find a place to set it up in the concert. frown

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801444 12/06/11 02:16 PM
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My inner idealist picks Mozart. But I think that you are correct in leaning towards Schubert.

A wonderful talent to have at that age. Out of the 3 works, the Schubert will be better served by the inevitable nerves & adrenaline surge.

I enjoyed listening. Thank you for posting.

Last edited by Gerard12; 12/06/11 02:18 PM.

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Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801459 12/06/11 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
I heard it's better to play a fast piece, is this true?

Yes and no. A lot depends on the piece and the judges. And the quality of the piano. A bad piano will ruin the Debussy and Mozart. Schubert is more "forgiving" (not much more, but it does have darker sections that provide more bravura), so that'll be my vote.

No Chopin? Judges LOVE Chopin.


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Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801464 12/06/11 02:54 PM
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.... especially at local competitions.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801467 12/06/11 02:59 PM
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Thank you all for the great advice. One bad thing for Schubert is the octave, his hand is still small and the chance that he will miss the octave is pretty high (like in the video). frown

After Beethoven sonata, he will learn another Chopin piece, but I don't think it can be ready before the competition. Also he played Chopin in a festival last year. One judge said his rubato is all natual and another judge said he needs more rubato. crazy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trKvw4pS4Dg

Is Chopin piece really a good choice?

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801481 12/06/11 03:20 PM
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It might not be a bad idea to at least polish two of them, then choose the better one out of the two as the competition approaching. He has already had the mechanics worked out, so the additional work load should not be overwhelming.

My son is preparing for a competition in the coming spring,and we are preparing three totally different pieces. It is hard to know which one will be his thing.

Since the competition is still a good several months away. It is a lot of time for you son to make noticeable progress (considering how far he has gone in just 3 years!). So maybe the Mozart will be jelling for your son even though it is just a tad too difficult for him now.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801500 12/06/11 03:53 PM
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Thanks for the idea! But I don't think we have enough practice (1hr/day) and lesson (45min/week) time to polish 2 pieces for competition along with learning new pieces. Just curious how do you do it to prepare 3 pieces? Thanks!

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801518 12/06/11 04:30 PM
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The teacher lets us record the important lessons, and after that she only occasionally checks on previous ones as we move on to new pieces. So it does not really need tons of lesson time, but my son does have to watch the movies multiple times. This is how we did it last time.

As to practice time, you have to make your own decision to set priorities. As to how we could do it. Normally during the summer, we put more time in sports (my son is focusing on Tennis). During the winter, we cut his tennis lesson from 2 per week to 1, and focus more on piano. As to other activities, we do our best to move them to weekends, so that they will not have conflicts with his daily piano practice.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
AZNpiano #1801540 12/06/11 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by C.Y.
I heard it's better to play a fast piece, is this true?

Yes and no. A lot depends on the piece and the judges. And the quality of the piano. A bad piano will ruin the Debussy and Mozart.

A poor piano will ruin anything expressive. A poor piano will ruin ANYTHING, but anything that requires subtlety is utterly destroyed on a piano that will not produce it.

Having said that, I *personally* am little impressed with anything that can be "coached" with anything up to an almost infinite amount of "training". I am always looking for signs of something special inside the players that comes from them and not from their teachers.

It's impossible predict what judges are looking for in any any competition, and you always have to keep in mind that some judges are utterly incompetent, dishonest or both.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801550 12/06/11 05:07 PM
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Quote
A poor piano will ruin anything expressive. A poor piano will ruin ANYTHING, but anything that requires subtlety is utterly destroyed on a piano that will not produce it.


[Linked Image]

I'm still shaking my head about one competition for which the piano was an aged Acrosonic spinet. Needless to say, the pianists were toast. A flutist won.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801563 12/06/11 05:25 PM
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spinet? shocked

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
Gary D. #1801565 12/06/11 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
It's impossible predict what judges are looking for in any any competition, and you always have to keep in mind that some judges are utterly incompetent, dishonest or both.


I guess just don't have any expectation for the competition and hope we will learn something from it.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
Piano*Dad #1801567 12/06/11 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
A poor piano will ruin anything expressive. A poor piano will ruin ANYTHING, but anything that requires subtlety is utterly destroyed on a piano that will not produce it.


[Linked Image]

I'm still shaking my head about one competition for which the piano was an aged Acrosonic spinet. Needless to say, the pianists were toast. A flutist won.


Well, I've come to realize that percussive, modern pieces are extremely "forgiving" on awful pianos. Late-Romantic music with massive chords and lush harmonies also tend to drown out a bad piano's weaknesses. Playing delicate Debussy on a bad piano is like musical sabotage.


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Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
C.Y. #1801587 12/06/11 06:00 PM
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He played the prelude from the Suite Pour le Piano, and two others played Jeux D'eau. Long faces and muttered curses from all after struggling with the piano. All groups, even local ones, should pay more attention to the piano at the venue. To do otherwise is disrespectful of the kids who have worked so hard. Ignorance is not a good excuse in my book. Someone who is associated with organizing events should care enough to solve that problem.

For our OP, this might be another reason to avoid the Debussy.

Re: Which piece do you think is better for competition?
Piano*Dad #1801642 12/06/11 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
A poor piano will ruin anything expressive. A poor piano will ruin ANYTHING, but anything that requires subtlety is utterly destroyed on a piano that will not produce it.


[Linked Image]

I'm still shaking my head about one competition for which the piano was an aged Acrosonic spinet. Needless to say, the pianists were toast. A flutist won.

I once had to perform on a supposedly 'just rebuilt' grand, and it when I depressed the una corda, the whole action went totally wonky, and that was just one thing that was horrendous.

I was not a kid, so I did not hide my anger. And that was the last time I ever played on any piano without getting a chance to say NO to a horrendous piece of ****.


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